Style Invitational Week 1320: Questionable journalism

A classic Invite contest. And you’ll love at least 102.3% of this
week’s stats fictoids.

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers

Pat Myers

Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003
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February 21

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning bogus statistics)

/Line from the Post:/ ** *With Beethoven, he adds, “there can be awkward
jumps, or it’s harder to find a fingering that really works.”*
/Question it could answer: / *What did the toy company president concede
about his low-selling line of Famous Composer Hand Puppets? *

A. *They will have instant replays, Jumbotrons and lots of television
cameras. *
/Question it could answer: / *What are Kim and Kanye’s plans for
conceiving another child?* (Jeff Contompasis, Week 1053, 2014)

/A. / *The investigators tried a different tack.*
/Q./ *What happened after the “Wanted” poster fell off the bulletin
board?* (Jay Shuck, Week 667, 2006)

It’s a classic Style Invitational contest since Week 254 in 1998: *Find
any sentence (or a substantive part of a sentence) that appears in The
Post or another publication, in print or online, dated Feb. 21-March 4,
and pair it with a question it might answer, *as in the entries above by
Bob Staake and from previous Questionable Journalism contests.

Submit entries at *
* (all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives an *electronic
necktie on which is printed a piano-type keyboard* — and you can play
the white keys; they make little beeplets like the ones you hear from
obnoxious greeting cards. The Empress played part of “I’m a Loser” on it
at the Losers’ Post-Post-Holiday Party last month. Donated, as are so
many of our most gloriously ridiculous prizes, by Loser Dave Prevar.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our “Whole Fools”

Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser
magnets, “We’ve Seen Better”
“IDiot Card.”

First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, March 4; *results
published March 24 (online March 21). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
“Stats Entertainment” was submitted by both Jeff Contomapasis and Chris
Doyle; David Peckarsky and Jesse Frankovich both thought of the
honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees on
Facebook at . “Like” Style
Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at
; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

**The Style *Conversational: *The Empress's weekly online column,
published late Thursday afternoon, discusses each new contest and set of
results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


*Week 1316 *was another of our bogus-trivia
contests, this one citing ridiculous statistics. More than 82 percent of
this week’s entrants sent an entry like this, which is actually true and
therefore not applicable to this contest: “100 percent of Style
Invitational entrants who don’t get ink believe their entries were way
better than the ones she chose.”

4th place:

In the current administration, the average official’s length of service
before turnover is hovering around 17.3 Scaramuccis. (Jeff Contompasis,
Ashburn, Va.)

Ready for her Solo: The Empress displays this week’s 2nd prize at last
month’s Loser party. (Dean Evangelista)
3rd place:

Due to the law of diminishing marginal returns, Patriots fans now become
only 4 percent more insufferable with each successive Super Bowl win.
(Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

2nd place

and the sexy-frog maraca from Cuba

It is now possible to tango with only 1.75. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

Recent neurological research reveals that only 97.4 percent of fools
fall in love. The remainder fall in a mix of lust and Axe Body Spray.
(Todd DeLap, Fairfax, Va.)

Substandard deviations: Honorable mentions

Although of course the mainstream media failed to report them, during
the first two years of his administration President Trump made 142 true
statements. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)

A cat’s metabolism is so efficient that it can convert 5½ ounces of cat
food into 7 ounces of feces, 3 ounces of urine and 2½ ounces of fetid
odor. (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

In a recent memoir, Rick Astley
admitted that there is at
least a 25 percent chance that he will give you up, and at least a 5
percent possibility that he will let you down. (Duncan Stevens)

Only 0.05 percent of registered Democrats are expected to enter the 2020
presidential race by June 2019. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Thirty-eight percent of accountants used to be statisticians, but they
could not stand the excitement. (Keith Ord, Potomac, Md.)

4 out of 5 dentists recommend Your Mama. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

Ninety-one percent of the articles my dad forwards me are old, debunked
or irrelevant, compared with 0 percent of the ones I forward to my kid
in college. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

A Panda Express “Panda Bowl” actually contains only about 6 percent
panda meat. (Bill Dorner)

A stitch in time will save 1,709 by the year 2030, when you factor in
economic growth due to tax cuts. – S. Mnuchin, Washington (Kevin Dopart)

Almost 1 in 50 of Don Corleone’s offers were refused. Well, briefly.
(Todd DeLap)

An average of 535 members of Congress say they enjoy hearing the sound
of their own voices. (Ivars Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.)

Contrary to popular belief, the number 1 maintains an active social
life, and isfar less lonely
than either 267 or 894.
(Perry Beider, Silver Spring, Md.)

In a recent marketing survey, 4 out of 5 men believed that discounted
post-Super Bowl merchandise makes a great Valentine’s Day present for
their wives or girlfriends. (Ivars Kuskevics)

In a recent survey of 7,400 Korean War veterans, more than 87 percent
responded that they didn’t hear the question. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis,

It is now possible to accurately compare nearly 86 percent of apples
with oranges. (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

Of the 3 million more votes cast for Clinton than for Trump, 55 percent
were from illegal immigrants, 31 percent were from Democrats who voted
twice, and 18 percent were from dead people. The total exceeds 100
percent because some dead people voted twice. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

Less than 10 percent of Americans are able to identify the grammatical
error in this entry. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Tweeting for 15 minutes on the toilet actually burns about the same
number of calories as 15 minutes of ranting at cable TV. (Kevin Dopart)

A recent study revealed that 62 percent of dogs who refused bargain
brand dog food would eat it when the dish was transferred to a
neighbor’s porch. (Marli Melton, Carmel Valley, Calif., a First Offender)

Researchers are unable to explain why when a sock disappears in the
laundry, 75 percent of the time it’s the left one. (Gary Crockett, Chevy
Chase, Md.)

Soylent Green is /mostly/ people: The remaining 19 percent consists of
xanthan gum, calcium sorbate and corn syrup. (David Ballard, Reston, Va.)

A man’s genitalia can grow by as much as 75 percent when he’s describing
himself. (Warren Tanabe)

Surveys conducted during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings showed a 56
percent increased interest in boofing. (Duncan Stevens)

The average “Saturday Night Live” sketch continues for 2 minutes 36
seconds after the audience gets the joke. (Eric Nelkin)

The joke about the statistician who drowned wading across a river with
an average depth of three feet is based on the fact that an average of
16.23 statisticians do perish that way every year. (Allan Grady,
Fredericksburg, Va., who last got Invite ink 21 years ago, in Week 212)

The number of bells rung every year far exceeds the annual pool of new
angels. (Jeff Contompasis)

Of the 34 inchworms found in an average 18-square-foot flower bed, five
actually stop and think marigolds are beautiful.
(Lynne Larkin,
Vero Beach, Fla.)

Twelve to 14 percent of teenagers have triskaidekaphobia. (Zachary
Levine, Rockville, Md.)

While 3 out of 4 statisticians hate reporting in generalities, 16.34934
percent think that overspecifying precision is a bigger problem. (Ward
Kay, Vienna, Va.)

With improvements in hygiene, it’s now possible to achieve genius with a
40:60 perspiration-inspiration ratio. (Frank Osen)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, Feb. 25: our contest for words
built from ScrabbleGrams racks. See
. *